The National Gallery - Scientist and Public Engagement Trustee Roles

Body: The National Gallery
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Culture, Media & Sport, Science & Technology
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: Trustees are unpaid but reasonable travel expenses may be claimed.
Time Requirements: Trustees are expected to attend 6 Board meetings a year and an annual strategy day. Additional time will be required to study papers and to attend events at the Gallery. In addition, most Trustees sit on at least one Committee of the Board, which requires an additional time commitment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The National Gallery (“the Gallery”) is a charity and Non–Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Gallery seeks two new Trustees for appointment in 2018.

The Gallery is home to a uniquely important collection of paintings in the Western European tradition, spanning the 13th to the 20th centuries, which belongs to the British people and is one of the richest and most comprehensive in the world. The strategic aims of the Gallery include:

  • Caring for and enhancing our collection for the public
  • Being accessible to all
  • Inspiring research,  learning and engagement
  • Investing in our staff
  • Maintaining and developing our building
  • Increasing our income

The Gallery attracts over 6 million visitors to its site in Trafalgar Square each year, making it the second most visited museum and gallery in the United Kingdom. Further information about the Gallery (including a list of current Trustees) can be found on its website at

The Gallery aims to connect great art with people and people with great art. Through its ambitious programme of exhibitions, temporary displays, education and national programmes and its investment in digital transformation, the Gallery aims both to engage with its traditional visitors and to reach out to younger generations and new communities and audiences .

The Gallery is a world leader in several of its areas of research, notably collection cataloguing, conservation science and technical art history. The National Gallery Technical Bulletin, published once a year, is a universally respected publication. The work of the Gallery’s Scientific Department is supported and promoted by the Gallery’s Scientific Consultative Group which meets once a year, and on which are represented scientific experts from a wide range of fields including physical and organic chemistry, materials science, imaging science, colour perception, engineering , mineralogy, digital technologies, preventive conservation, lighting and the environment . The Gallery’s ambition is to develop a Research Centre which is at the cutting edge of research on painting.

The role of the Board of the Gallery includes responsibility for the Gallery’s statutory functions; the provision of overall leadership and development of strategy.  It ensures that high standards of corporate governance are maintained and that the Gallery has effective control systems, decision making processes and management in place.  The Board complements the executive by providing support and advice while also, where necessary, challenging the status quo.

The Board consists at any time of 12 to 14 Trustees, one of whom is appointed by the Board of Tate and the remainder by the Prime Minister. The Gallery wishes to draw its Trustees from as diverse a range of backgrounds as possible.

At any time, the Board appoints one of its members to sit as a member of the Board of Tate.

Person Specification

All trustees of the Gallery are expected to demonstrate:

  • A love of paintings and  a commitment to the objectives and work of the Gallery
  • An understanding of the importance to the Gallery of fundraising and a commitment to support such activity
  • Excellent judgment and the ability to deal with strategic issues affecting the Gallery
  • Good communication skills and the ability to represent the Gallery in the public realm
  • The ability to work with other Trustees and senior management of the Gallery
  • That they share the Gallery’s commitment to diversity and equality, in relation to audience development and employment practices

In addition, for these vacancies, the Gallery wishes to appoint:-

Trustee 1

A Scientist who will help champion and support the important scientific work undertaken in the Gallery and with the reputation and authority required to Chair the Gallery’s Scientific Consultative Group

Trustee 2

An individual with experience of and a passion for public engagement, outreach and working with communities to help the Gallery develop and deliver its strategic objective of expanding and enhancing its programmes and activities, in  particular those for younger people, communities and for a broader and more diverse demographic of audiences which have not formed part of the Gallery’s traditional visitor base.

A term of up to four years will be offered.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A CV of no more than two sides of A4;
  • A supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria; this should provide details of your education and qualifications, employment history. directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards; and
  • The conflicts of Interest Form and the Diversity Form. The Diversity Form will be kept separately from your application and Conflicts of Interest Form, and will not be seen by the panel


Completed applications should be sent to: Please put ‘The National Gallery Trustee” in the subject line, and specify which of the two roles you are interested in. Alternatively, they can be posted to Bruce Simpson, DCMS, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ.


To talk to someone about the public appointments process, please contact Bruce Simpson on 0207 211 2146 or


To talk to someone about the trustee roles at the National Gallery please contact Kate Howe, Secretary to the Board on 020 7747 2801 or by email to

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